Pool makes a splash - again
Ra'anana's new municipal swimming pool is continuing to make waves, this time over its entrance fees.
By MIRIAM BULWAR DAVID-HAY (TRANSLATED)
September 28, 2008 12:13
1 minute read.
Ra'anana's new municipal swimming pool is continuing to make waves, this time over its entrance fees, reports www.local.co.il. Opposition councilor Leah Halperin says the city's decision to give a discounted entry fee to those who hold residents' cards is discriminatory and probably illegal, although the city says it is entitled to offer card-holders the benefit of cheaper admission.
According to the report, the city recently announced its entrance fees for the new swimming pool, which has already been the subject of religious controversy over its decision to allow segregated swimming for men and for women on certain days. The new fees enable those with a valid residents' card to pay less than residents without a card and significantly less than non-residents for entry to the pool. While a single entry costs NIS 35 on weekdays and NIS 40 on Saturdays for an adult with a residents' card, a resident without a card must pay NIS 45 on weekdays and NIS 50 on Saturdays, and a non-resident must pay NIS 65 every day. Annual membership fees are also NIS 200 to NIS 500 cheaper for those residents with cards than for those without them. The city began issuing the plastic residents' cards late last year, charging a fee for their purchase.
Halperin wrote to Mayor Nahum Hofree to say that taxpayers' money had been used to build the NIS 28 million pool, and there had been no difference between the amount raised from those with cards than that raised from those without them. She said the extra entry cost for residents without cards amounted to double taxation and appeared to be illegal, as well as being discriminatory, and the lower fees should be applied to all residents irrespective of whether or not they had cards.
A municipal spokesman responded that the residents' cards entitled holders to discounts from a number of municipal services and private businesses, and that thousands of residents had bought the cards for a "symbolic" fee. The spokesman said the city was "not interested in discrimination of any kind," and the cards aimed to ensure that only residents would be able to enjoy various benefits in the city.
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